I did not grow up in a generation of "good people". The Baby Boomers did, along with their parents, called the Greatest Generation. They lived in a world where most people had a general sense of right and wrong and abided by the norm of being good people. So, the Cleaver family went to church. People were outraged and shocked when Rhett Butler told Scarlett O'Hara that he didn't give a... well, you know... on the big screen. Men did not swear in front of women and children, women dressed appropriately and modestly, and children were well behaved and obedient. It was a happier time, a gentler time, and the world looked clean. People dream of going back to these times. I do not.
My problem with Beaver Cleaver is that, bottom line, it does not matter one bit if you are a "good person" if you do not know the Lord. It does not matter if you walk the line, obey the rules of society, and show up in church on Sunday if you have no relationship that has turned you from sin and death to Life. There is no redeeming quality in sinners pretending to be holy. None. Does it make our world an easier place to live in if everyone plays nicely? I suppose. But it harms Christianity. It takes our focus off the real problem by making us feel more comfortable. We can pretend that our friends and neighbors are not on their way to eternity in hell. We can overlook the darkness of death in someone's heart and instead see their lack of public sin and think all is well.
The older I get the more I realize that sin does not bother me the same way it does some of the older generations. I do not expect a godless society to act godly. I am not offended by tattoos, foul language, and sinful lifestyles. Honestly, I am more offended by Christians who live as hypocrites than I am of the worst sinner sinning. Am I bothered by sin? Of course! But, I am more bothered by the heart behind the sin. I am more concerned with the fact that a person is on their way to spending an eternity without God than I am at the fact that they are openly sinning. Sinners sin. It's what they do. Gone are the days of Beaver Cleaver when heathens act like Christians. I say good riddance! The last thing this world needs is people pretending to be Christians. What this world does need, however, is a strong Christian community who does not just stand against sin, but who are broken by the fate of the lost and who mourn over their lack of redemption. Sin is not our enemy. Sin is a reflection of a heart without the Lord. Our Enemy is the one actively seeking to destroy mankind by standing between them and Hope. Our goal as Christians is not to create an environment on this planet that makes life easy for us. Our goal as Christians is to surrender our lives to the Lord, be prepared to endure hardships, and share the Message of the Gospel to the lost. We are not trying to preserve a way of life, we are trying to save lives.
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20
Copyright © Rachel D. Butler and Only Passing Through. All Rights Reserved.
New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California. All rights reserved.